Nordic pension fund tenders $150m GEM mandate using IPE-Quest

first_imgIt also requires an all-cap strategy, unconstrained versus the benchmark, with the ability to have a 0% weight in large benchmark stocks and large benchmark countries.The investor said fund managers must be prepared to take quarterly meetings to discuss portfolio and market developments, positioning and performance.It added: “We are not looking for an income strategy, a deep-value strategy, an EM consumer strategy or a managed volatility strategy.“Strategies that have been created due to an existing strategy having reached full capacity will not be considered for this mandate.“We are long-term investors and aim to obtain a deep understanding of our external managers’ performance drivers, investment philosophy and process.”The mandate calls for a minimum tracking error of 4%, using the MSCI Emerging Markets IMI Net TR as benchmark.Fund managers must have a track record of at least three years, preferably six.Applicants should state performance, gross of fees, until the end of 2013.The closing date for applications is 20 March.The news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE-Quest tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information directly from IPE-Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 3465 9330 or email [email protected] A Scandinavian pension fund has tendered a long-only global emerging markets equity mandate using IPE-Quest.According to search QN1395, the initial mandate size will be $150m (€109m), but the investor expects to increase this amount.The mandate is likely to be a segregated account, but managers should also state whether “a UCITS fund is available”.The investor is looking for a boutique with a strong focus on emerging markets, and calls for a fundamental, active approach, a proven process with a strong valuation framework, a solid long-term track record and a relatively low turnover.last_img read more

Dutch regulator asks 60 schemes to ‘reconsider’ future independence

first_imgHe also stressed that further consolidation was not one of the DNB’s goals.“What matters is that things work,” he said. “A large pension fund is not a guarantee for this.”Dahmeijer estimated that the number of pension funds in the Netherlands was set to fall from more than 300 to approximately 250 within a year.He said he was convinced the consolidation process would continue, and that it would affect all players involved in the industry, such as accountants and pension providers.According to the supervisor, insurers are growing more reluctant to conclude new contracts, while the duration of their quotes is decreasing, and some are even starting to withdraw from the market.“The changes might be even bigger than we are currently aware of,” he said.Dahmeijer also noted that pension funds’ boards hardly seemed to be planning to change their pension arrangements from defined benefit to defined contribution.“I don’t expect DB will have disappeared by 2020,” he said. The Dutch pensions watchdog, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), has encouraged 60 potentially vulnerable pension funds to “reconsider” their future as independent organisations, according to Jan-Jaap Dahmeijer, supervisor at the regulator.Speaking at a recent seminar in Amsterdam held by asset manager F&C on the future of the Dutch system, Dahmeijer said the DNB selected the 60 pension funds in question – with assets ranging between €50m and €2bn – based on criteria such as costs, participants’ average age and the ability to affect funding through contribution changes.He told IPE the DNB had conduced more thourough meetings with about five individual pension funds in the meantime, in order to provide tailor-made advice.He said the regulator had encouraged the pension funds to prepare for possible consolidation, but he stressed that any decision on the matter would ultimately be up to the schemes’ boards.last_img read more

Juncker Commission to ‘eliminate’ EU funding of EIOPA

first_img“On the latter, you should find a way to eliminate EU and national budgetary contributions to the ESAs, which should be wholly financed by the sectors they supervise.”The recommendations for governance and funding reform follow on from a report, endorsed over the summer by the outgoing European executive, for the funding of the ESAs through an industry levy.Additionally, the report suggested that EIOPA’s two stakeholder groups – one for occupational pensions, one for the insurance industry – should be merged.Juncker further tasked Hill to work on greater long-term funding for the European economy, an issue first examined by the current internal markets commission.The letter said Hill should work with Commission vice-president for jobs, growth, investment and competitiveness Jyrki Katainen, who in his new role will be in charge of the Commission’s economic portfolios, to outline ways of improving the investment environment within three months of taking office.It added: “This will include seeking appropriate ways to revive sustainable and high-quality securitisation markets, to reduce the cost of raising capital in the Union and to develop alternatives to our companies’ dependence on bank funding.”Juncker also called for the creation of a capital markets union by 2019 “with a view to maximising the benefits of capital markets and non-bank financial institutions to the real economy”.The drive for a capital markets union is likely to focus on ways of encouraging pension investors to increase exposure to real estate and direct lending, two areas previously highlighted.Despite the loss of the current internal markets commission, with Hill in charge of the portfolio where it relates to financial regulation, incoming internal markets commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska is still likely to have an impact on the pensions agenda.Juncker instructed the Polish commissioner to ensure a “fully functioning single market for goods and services”, including the free movements of jobs – a matter recently touched on by the supplementary pensions rights directive.,WebsitesWe are not responsible for the content of external sitesJean-Claude Juncker’s mission letters to the incoming European commissioners The UK’s new European commissioner for financial services, Jonathan Hill, is set to overhaul the governance and financing of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), with the pensions and insurance industry soon to be fully responsible for all costs.Hill, who was today confirmed as incoming Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker’s candidate for the newly formed commission for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union, will also be tasked with fostering greater long-term investment in the European economy.In a letter from Juncker to the UK commissioner, the former Luxembourg prime minister said Hill’s role would be to review how the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) and the European Systemic Risk Board would function.“Particular attention should be paid to reviewing the governance and the financing of these agencies,” Juncker said.last_img read more

EIOPA ‘founding father’ backs greater powers for supervisor

first_imgThe “founding father” of the European supervisory bodies has backed calls for the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) to be given an independent budget, and suggested that granting it greater supervisory powers was inevitable.Jacques de Larosière, a former head of the IMF and chairman of the Larosière committee that in 2009 recommended the creation of the current European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) of EIOPA, the European Securities and Markets Authority and the European Banking Authority, said the work of establishing the ESAs remained unfinished until they were granted a greater role in supervising their respective sectors.He said EIOPA’s “absolutely fundamental” work on harmonising both regulation and supervision needed to go hand-in-hand with greater powers for the authority chaired by Gabriel Bernardino.Speaking during the keynote address at EIOPA’s annual conference in Frankfurt, de Larosière said: “It is essential that EIOPA have sufficient powers to conduct enquiries into particular financial institutions, and not only in situations of crisis. “And they have to have to have the liberty to do that, without permission.”He also said the funding of the ESAs should be “de-coupled” from the European Commission’s budget, as this would grant them the flexibility needed to carry out its tasks.EIOPA recently warned that a freeze in its budget would “severely undermine” its ability to perform. Carlos Montalvo, EIOPA’s executive director, praised de Larosière as the founding father of the “successful experiment” of ESAs.“I would say the work is unfinished,” de Larosière added, “because, eventually, your institutions, your authorities are going to have to have a wider role in supervision.“Now, we knew that when we wrote the report, but it was not possible to articulate that in that way, and I think it was wise not to do it at the time.“But, little by little, as you establish your credibility, as you establish your objectivity in your work, you will become inevitably a moving force in that question of harmonising supervision.”He said that while it was important not to apply undue pressure, eventually, the three ESAs would be granted a significant role in supervising the European financial system.De Larosière’s intervention comes months after the Commission approved a report on reforming the ESAs that also suggested each should only have a single stakeholder group, essentially merging the pensions and insurance groups at EIOPA.Any suggestion that the occupational pensions stakeholder group (OPSG) should be abolished has been rejected by the industry and members of the OPSG, while Bernardino recently told IPE that the current arrangement should remain.The review also recommended that the funding of the ESAs no longer be the responsibility of the European Commission, and new commissioner for financial services Jonathan Hill has been asked to investigate if the authorities could be funded, either partially or fully, through an industry levy.last_img read more

Danish roundup: PensionDanmark, Industriens, Nordea, DIP

first_imgInvestment returns at Danish labour-market pension fund PensionDanmark grew in 2014 to around 10.5%, with all asset classes contributing, although the scheme forecast lower year-on-year returns for the current year.In absolute terms, the return for the whole of last year was DKK16.2bn (€2.18bn), with 40-year-old scheme members receiving a 10.5% return and 65 year olds seeing a 10.6% return, the pension fund said.By contrast, the return in 2013 was 9.3% for the younger age group and 3.9% for the older. Torben Möger Pedersen, PensionDanmark’s chief executive, said: “We are very pleased with the investment return for 2014, when we, like other investors, profited well from falling yields and rising share prices.” Investments in stable alternatives such as property and infrastructure had made a good contribution to the overall return, he said.“But one can’t expect that in 2015 there will also be profits to be had on both swings and roundabouts,” he warned.One should expect a lower return this year, even though the pension fund’s return in the last few years has shown its investment portfolio can do well in both tailwinds and headwinds, he said.Listed equities generated 12.2%, while bonds returned 8.9%, PensionDanmark said.Meanwhile, industrial sector labour-market fund Industriens Pension posted an 11% overall return for 2014, driven by Danish equities and private equity.The return was DKK12.6bn (€1.7bn) in absolute figures, up from DKK7bn, or 6.7% in 2013.The pension fund’s chief executive Laila Mortensen said: “As in earlier years, we have achieved a high return on our large holding of Danish equities, and our growing portfolio of private equity and infrastructure assets also delivered a big contribution.”Private equity came with large costs, she said, but added that the pension fund expected the returns on this asset class would more than offset them.She said Industriens had always been very selective with its unlisted investments, and took this approach during the financial crisis, too, when it was possible to buy into companies and assets at advantageous levels.“It is these investments, among others, that have borne fruit in 2014,” she said.Nominal gilt-edged bonds returned 7.8% in 2014, while indexed gilt-edged bonds produced 5.4% and corporate bonds returned 4.2%.Danish shares returned 21.5%, foreign equities 10.7% and private equity 15.4%.In other news, engineers’ pension fund DIP reported a return for last year of 8.1% but said this was likely to be at the low end of the league table of returns produced in the Danish pensions sector.This was because DIP had been unable to add the interest-rate hedging profits that some others would be able to include.However, at 8.1%, the pre-tax investment return was higher than had been expected at the beginning of the year, DIP said.The return was primarily boosted by positive development on the equity markets as a result of expectations of positive growth mainly in the US, it said.It pointed out that DIP did not have yield guarantees to meet on its pensions and therefore did not hedge interest rates.“This means DIP does not have profits on insurance against falls in interest rates,” it said, adding that this meant its overall return was expected to lie at the low end of those reported by the sector.Meanwhile, Nordea’s Life & Pensions business division saw a 24% rise in annual operating profit for 2014 to DKK389m, as premiums grew by 13% in the last quarter of the year.Gross written premiums rose to €2.1bn in the fourth quarter, up 13% from the same quarter in 2013.“The market return product-driven sales momentum in the Nordea Bank channel continued to fuel new business sales in the fourth quarter,” the group said.Market return and risk products accounted for 87% of total gross written premiums. The products also amounted to 52% of assets under management at the end of the fourth quarter.The rise in operating profit from the third to fourth quarters of 2014 of 67% was largely due to higher profits on traditional products, as well as the write-down of deferred acquisition costs in the Polish pension fund subsidiary of €27m in third quarter, Nordea said.Check out Caroline Liinanki’s excellent article on how Nordic pension funds are ahead of the game’when it comes to decarbonisationlast_img read more

Jeremy Woolfe: British officials fret over EU pension obligations

first_imgFurther reinforcing the position of British personnel is Article 83 of the EU staff regulations, which states that “benefits paid under this pension scheme shall be charged to the budget of the Union”, while member states “shall jointly guarantee payment of such benefits”.Félix Géradon, of the Union Syndicale, the major union for public-service employees, thus says that one could imagine the remaining EU member states could well request that the UK assume some responsibility for the overall pension expenditure, as part of the ultimate Brexit agreement.As for background figures, the total annual outgoings towards pension payouts for all national groups and for all the EU institutions are estimated, by the Commission, at more than €1.6bn for this year. It is on this – and on the basis that UK participation in the total head-count is low (3.8% in the Commission itself, for example) – that the annual €16.4m pension cost for Brits is based.When it comes to capital liability, according to a Commission source, the EU officials’ pension scheme functions as a “notional fund”, not as a pay-as-you-go scheme. Hence, the argument is, if the liability were to be handed over to a fund, it would have been, for 2014, €58bn. This pension liability is as calculated annually under the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (Ipsas-25). Along the same lines, the total proportion of capital liability for the UK appears to be around €2.2bn.  Evidence of anxiety among British pension beneficiaries, present and future – including, presumably, from Brits in the London-based European Banking Authority – is in the air. One senior British official in Brussels tells IPE that instructions had been sent to Commission staff not to answer questions from the press. And, unusually for him, he did not.Another commentator adds to the disquiet – a Commission retiree informs IPE that enforcement of any judgment, from the European Court of Justice would be beyond the remit of the court. Backing this up, the court itself states that it is up to the relevant member states to implement any ruling.Bearing this in mind, when it comes to the crunch, will the 27 national governments remaining in the EU take their payment-obligation position lying down? Will they agree, during forthcoming Brexit negotiations, to have their taxpayers support the “treacherous” interests of its British “adversary”? And could the opposite, then, apply to any future UK government as well?All of these unanswered questions would seem to justify British officials’ increasingly nervous nail-biting. Our man in Brussels wonders where the post-Brexit burden of UK officials’ pensions might lieFuture negotiations over the UK’s shock decision to leave the European Union (EU) could raise questions over annual payments and capital liability related to pensions for British citizens who work, or have worked, at the various EU institutions. On current estimates, the sums involved represent around €16.4m per year, or a capital total of something to the tune of €2.2bn.As a result, there exists some disquiet among the estimated 1,730 UK nationals now retired from EU institutions. Also involved are the existing British-citizen, EU employees with future pension claims. Their total head count is roughly the same, and includes a precise 1,164 currently working in the European Commission.The vital question is where the burden should fall following the finalisation of the Brexit process. From a legal point of view, the remaining EU 27 member states will have to continue paying the pensions of former staff. This position was supported by a recent letter from EC president Jean-Claude Juncker to British personnel, reassuring them that they “remain Union officials”. Martin Schultz, head of the European Parliament, related a similarly cosy message.last_img read more

How scheme size can affect consultant, fund manager relationships

first_imgThe size of a pension scheme has a bearing on its trustees’ relationships with fund managers and consultants, according to wide-ranging new research.It was led by Iain Clacher, associate professor in accounting and finance at Leeds University Business School, in partnership with Aon.The research found that trustees of large schemes place greater emphasis on fund managers’ investment philosophy, decision-making and risk management than small scheme trustees.Small scheme trustees, in turn, focus more on past performance, costs and fees, fund size, firm size and volatility. “Size brings buying power and the ability to be selective, which is not present at smaller fund sizes,” according to the report. “As such, larger funds, and particularly those with in-house investment teams, can use the asset management industry in a strategic way.”Clacher noted that the main reasons for trustees changing fund managers were not as predicted. Investment strategy shifts and de-risking were the main reasons given, with past performance ranking third.The publication of the research comes shortly before the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority is expected to publish its final report on its investigation into the asset management industry. This includes major scrutiny of investment consultants, which the regulator wants to refer to the Competition and Markets Authority.Varied expectations of consultantsThe picture was much more mixed when it came to trustees’ relationship with investment consultants, according to the report’s authors.John Belgrove, senior partner at Aon Hewitt, said: “We found that trustees of different sized schemes look for very different things from their consultants, meaning it is hard to pin down a generalised statement of what trustees look for in their investment consultants.”“In examining this issue, it raises a key challenge for the provision of advice in circumstances where the goals of trustees and the beliefs of consultants clash,” the report said. “It is not clear how trustees would respond to advice that conflicts with their beliefs, nor is it clear that investment consultants are able to have honest conversations with trustees about such issues.”Trustees’ views of consultants ranged from them being a service provider with limited remit, to being a sounding board for trustees to road-test ideas.Interactions between trustees and consultants are complex, the report noted. “Trustees have specific goals and objectives in mind and investment consultants therefore operate within those constraints.”Some trustees felt consultants were tailoring their advice, which the report said could result in the range of options being considered not necessarily being what the investment consultant believes is the optimal strategy. Belgrove said tailoring advice would seem a key part of how trustees and consultants can work together, but warned that it was less likely to be challenged.The report can be found here.last_img read more

Nordic roundup: Varma poised to remain Finland’s largest pension fund

first_img“As a pension investor, we have seen the post-financial-crisis recovery in the markets for a long time now, but so far it has mainly only affected the investment markets,” he said.“The upswing has finally also reached Finland’s economy,” Murto said.Varma reported that its investments returned 4.7% in the first half, compared with a 0.3% loss in the same period last year.Keva cashflows turn negative Meanwhile, equities were the strongest-performing assets in the portfolio of Finnish local government pension fund Keva in the first half of this year, but the fund’s CIO warned that the long bull market might have negative consequences.The overall investment return was 3.7% in the January-to-June period — up from 0.9% in the same period last year, according to unaudited interim figures from the pension fund.Listed equities and equity funds produced a 7.4% return, fixed income investments returned 1.1% and real estate generated 2.6%, Keva said.Ari Huotari, Keva’s CIO said: “The first half of 2017 was like a continuation of last year, with equity markets continuing to rise to reach all-time highs in many markets.“However, it needs to be pointed out that the prolonged rise of many asset categories, especially the riskier ones, has also increased concern as to future development,” he said.Keva chief executive Timo Kietäväinen described this year as a remarkable one for the pension fund, as it was the first time that the amount of pensions paid out had exceeded the employer and employee contributions paid in.In rounded figures, the pension fund reported that contribution income during the first half had come to €2.5bn while €2.5bn had been paid out in the same period in pensions.Industriens Pension returns 3.7%Elsewhere in the Nordic region, Danish labour-market pension fund Industriens Pension reported its investments had yielded a 3.7% return overall, driven in particular by listed Danish and foreign equities. Karsten Kjellerup Kjelsen, CIO at the pension fund, said: “The financial markets were marked by some nice economic growth globally, and central banks continued their easy monetary policy.“This created good demand for shares and similar risk assets, among which emerging markets and Danish equities did particularly well,” he said.Danish listed equities were the strongest performing asset class for Industriens Pension, making up just over a tenth of its portfolio and returning 6.8% before tax in the period.Foreign listed shares, which account for nearly 30% of the portfolio, produced 7.8%.However, gilt-edged bonds, which make up 27% of assets, returned just 0.2% in the six-month period.Industriens Pension’s total investments grew to DKK157bn (€21bn) at the end of June from DKK150bn at the end of 2016. Finnish pensions insurance company Varma would still be the country’s biggest pension fund if the upcoming merger of its rival Ilmarinen with Etera were complete, according to figures Varma released for the first half of the year.According to results for January to June 2017, the market value of Varma’s investment portfolio reached a new record of €45.0bn at the end of June, just topping the combination of total assets reported for the same period recently by Ilmarinen and Etera, which were €38.5bn and €5.9bn respectively.Ilmarinen, Finland’s second largest private sector earnings-related pension provider, and smaller pensions insurer Etera announced in late June that their boards had approved a merger which is set to complete in January.Varma’s chief executive Risto Murto said domestic economic growth had been brisk in the reporting period.last_img read more

Owner of largest UK private sector DC master trust creates CIO role

first_imgAs founder and administrator of The People’s Pension, B&CE will work closely with the trustees to help develop the investment strategy.Aspinall ran his own consultancy before joining B&CE, which he set up after leaving Willis Towers Watson in 2016. He was head of defined contribution (DC) investment consulting at Willis Towers Watson in the UK for four years.He was head of DC and communications for the Barclays Bank UK Retirement Fund before joining Willis Towers Watson.Aspinall was chair of the resource and environment board of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries until July, where he worked to raise the profile of climate change as a consideration for the actuarial profession.Patrick Heath-Lay, CEO at B&CE, said Aspinall brought with him “impressive experience” of creating and implementing investment strategies within the DC market. This would allow B&CE and The People’s Pension “to maximise the effectiveness of our assets and crucially, improve investment outcomes for the group and its members”.Aspinall said: “I am delighted to be joining B&CE, which offers the rare opportunity of working in a not-for-profit environment, to influence the shape of the DC industry, and all dedicated to the benefit of millions of members.”The People’s Pension is the largest private sector multi-employer pension scheme in the UK, with 3 million members and over 65,000 employers. It was created for auto-enrolment. NOW: Pensions, another UK DC master trust provider, recently named Troy Clutterbuck as interim chief executive officer to replace Morten Nilsson, who led the firm since its launch in 2011. The parent company of UK master trust provider The People’s Pension has appointed Nico Aspinall to the newly created role of chief investment officer in anticipation of rapid growth of funds under management.He will be responsible for the investment strategy of The People’s Pension and the other asset pools within B&CE, which had £2.9bn (€3.7bn) of assets under management as at the end of March 2016.A spokesperson told IPE that B&CE had from the outset planned to strengthen its investment capability over time. As it was expecting rapid growth it said it was the right time to bring in a CIO to lead the investment strategy team and drive the investment strategy.The independent trustee board will continue to make the investment strategy decisions, and investment management will continue to be with State Street Global Advisors.last_img read more

PPF assets grow to £32bn but surplus hit by Kodak claim

first_imgThe UK’s defined benefit (DB) scheme lifeboat fund grew its assets to £32bn (€35.7bn) in the 12 months to the end of March, but its funding level dropped due to a record claim.The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) gained 5.2% during the year to 31 March 2019, it stated in its annual report. However, its reserves – which it aims to build up to prepare for taking on underfunded DB schemes – dropped from £6.7bn to £6.1bn, dragging its funding ratio down by 4.2 percentage points, to 118.6%.The fall was caused by the Kodak Pension Plan (KPP2) entering the PPF’s assessment period. The scheme had 11,000 members and a deficit of £1.5bn, making it the biggest pension scheme to fall into the PPF since the lifeboat fund was set up in 2005.Andy McKinnon, chief financial officer at the PPF, said: “Our reserves mean that we currently have £6.1bn over and above what we need to pay our current members and their dependants for the rest of their lives. “We need these reserves to cover future claims, and we had anticipated the KPP2 claim. But despite having a buffer we are not complacent. Our biggest risk is the funding level of the schemes we protect and scheme deficits remain high.”Kodak scheme fails at second attemptKPP2 was set up in 2013 following the bankruptcy of Eastman Kodak. The scheme bought several of Eastman Kodak’s businesses to establish a new sponsor. The PPF said this company – Kodak Alaris – remained cash generative but was unable to support the pension fund.The PPF said it had been working with the Kodak scheme’s trustees and the Pensions Regulator to “ensure an orderly transition into PPF assessment ahead of the employer insolvency event”.“Our two aims have been to protect stakeholders and to provide reassurance, confidence and clarity to the 11,000 scheme members who will in due course become PPF members,” the PPF stated.“During the assessment period we will continue the work of the KPP2 trustees to dispose of the Kodak Alaris business for fair value. However should this not be achieved through the sales process, the PPF is prepared to retain ownership of all or part of Kodak Alaris.“While KPP2 presents the largest claim on the PPF to date, we remain financially strong and able to absorb a claim of this size. This is the reason we have reserves, and it is what we are here to do.”2030 funding targetThe PPF takes on the DB schemes of bankrupt UK companies, and currently charges a levy on eligible schemes to supplement its operating costs. It aims to become self-sufficient by 2030, which it envisages would require a 110% funding ratio. This would reduce its reliance on the industry levy.However, the likelihood of hitting this 2030 target fell during the financial year, the 2018-19 report stated, from 91% to 89%. In March 2017, the PPF said it had a 93% chance of hitting its target. The reduction was largely caused by macro-economic assumptions, although changes to its compensation rules as the result of an EU ruling also contributed.The annual report stated: “Like any complex modelling exercise, our projections are subject to significant uncertainty and our success ultimately depends on some influences outside of our control. Our focus as a business is to prudently manage all of the factors within our control and our main aim is to manage our balance sheet effectively.“At this stage of our evolution, an 89% probability indicates a high level of confidence that we remain on track to meet our funding target.” PPF chief executive Oliver MorleyChief executive Oliver Morley said the PPF’s insourcing programme – which has seen it bring in-house the vast majority of its investment management operations in recent years – was “nearly completed”.“Our successful investment performance at relatively low cost is partly due to this new model,” he said.Operating expenses – including staff costs – rose by 2.7% to £69m, but investment management costs fell by 1% to £141.8m. This was equivalent to roughly 0.4% of the PPF’s assets under management.Morley said: “Over the coming years we will continue to provide a valuable service for our members, to maximise value for our levy payers, and to play a worthwhile role in our community as well as the industry. We expect challenging times ahead but we are confident our funding strategy is on course to see us through them.”last_img read more